Funding for your support

Funding your additional support - Disabled Student Allowances

As a student with a disability, you may be eligible for a Disabled Students' Allowance (DSAs). DSAs are intended to cover any extra costs or expenses that arise because of your disability while studying. You can apply for a DSA allowance if you have a diagnosed physical, sensory, unseen medical condition, MH condition, Autistic Spectrum condition or a Specific Learning difficulty.

DSAs are not loans, so will not have to repay them when you have graduated. They are not classed as income so they do not affect state benefits.

What do DSAs pay for?

DSAs will pay for study-related support including specialist equipment and human support to help you overcome the effect of your disability on your studies. You may be entitled to help towards the costs of:

  • specialist equipment
  • non-medical helpers (support rates PDF icon )
  • extra travel costs
  • other extra course-related costs due to your disability.

DSAs do not pay for:

  • Costs a student would have incurred whether or not they were at university
  • Non-disability related costs incurred by all students on a particular course.

How do I apply for a Disabled Students' Allowance?

Please complete a DSA form, which can be downloaded from your funding authority web pages. You will be required to submit evidence of your disability (please keep original documents for your records).

When your funding body has processed your application they will send you a confirmation letter requesting you to arrange a Study Needs Assessment. To arrange a Study Needs Assessment contact an Assessment Centre through the Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group.

To book an appointment at our centre, contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 3495">
Email us

What evidence will I need?

If you are physically disabled, have a sensory impairment or have a mental-health condition, will need to provide medical evidence of your condition, such as a letter from your doctor or an appropriate specialist. The medical evidence should state the nature of your disability and should also explain how the condition affects you on a daily basis.

Students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia will need to provide evidence of this in the form of a diagnostic assessment from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher. Additional guidance on the assessment required for a DSA application is available from the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC).

I have been asked by my student funding authority to have a Study Needs assessment.

You can book your Study Needs Assessment at our Centre by contacting us on 0115 848 3495 or by email.

Funding from charitable trusts

You may be able apply to charitable trusts for funding to support you while you study. Skill -  the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities - provides information on this to disabled students.

If you cannot access funds to support your learning from official or statutory sources, trusts may be able to help you raise the funds. Each trust has its own eligibility criteria, so make sure you meet the trust's criteria before you apply. The Directory of Grant Making Trusts, which is available in the Boots Library, gives advice about a number of trusts that may help with funding.

£10 and £20 notes
Students outside the Student Services Centre, City site